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Chicano cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz offers reasons to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in a play on the game Lotería.

Latinos are using cartoons to combat the coronavirus-related misinformation that is prominent in their communities.

Why it matters: The project, "COVID Latino," aims to disseminate COVID-related information to U.S. Latinos through art and social media posts that prominently feature visual staples of Latino culture, with an emphasis on the U.S. Southwest.

The health campaign was launched by social scientist Gilberto Lopez, who enlisted Chicano artist Lalo Alcaraz to produce cartoons for the project.

  • Alcaraz told Axios that he believes Latinos are underserved medically and educationally, adding that they are often "targeted for misinformation, and consequently have lower rates of vaccination."
  • The website, launched in April, is largely funded through partnerships with academic and community-based organizations, including the Atlantic Institute and the California University Merced Nicotine and Cannabis Policy Center.

By the numbers: Latinos are almost three times as likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 than non-Hispanic white people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Latinos, however, only make up about 19% of people in the U.S. who have received at least one vaccine dose, per data from the CDC. The agency announced earlier this week that 60% of the entire U.S. population is fully inoculated against the virus.

Between the lines: Latinos are overrepresented in high-contact occupations, such as food, retail, service and health industries deemed "essential," Axios' Russell Contreras writes.

While social media platforms like Facebook often flag vaccine or COVID-related misinformation in English, the Washington Post found that much of the same content in Spanish takes days to get flagged.

  • Whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before Congress that 87% of Facebook's misinformation spending is on English content, leaving only 13% devoted to false information in other languages.

What they're saying: "Cartoons are a great way to deliver a lot of information in one hit," Alcaraz told Axios. "It's an image that can stick with you."

  • Often, Spanish-dominant Latinos in the U.S. "don't get good information in their own language," he added.

Get more news that matters about Latinos in the hemisphere, delivered right to your inbox on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sign up for the Axios Latino newsletter.

Go deeper

Jan 15, 2022 - Health

Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron

Three COVID-19 testing companies place testing locations outside Grand Central Terminal on Jan. 14 in New York City. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Experts are warning that subsequent COVID-19 variants are likely to come after Omicron, AP reports.

Why it matters: The warnings come as there's no guarantee that subsequent variants "will cause milder illness or that existing vaccines will work against them," underscoring the need for widespread vaccination, AP writes.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

State of play: Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though police chief Michael Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers — America struggles to keep schools open
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker